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Buying and listening to music... how do you do it?


ca_gere
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Gone are the days of buying a CD from a shop and listening to it at home on your stereo.

The way we consume music has changed completely in the last few years and there is no longer 1 way to do it. Even when downloading music was first a thing, options were limited to Napster, then later Kazaa but now there are a bajillion ways to buy music, pirate music, share music, upload and sync your collection, back up your collection, listen to radio, explore new music, etc.

I'd be interested in hearing what everyone uses, what for, and why? I'm guessing there will be a lot of the same responses but maybe some folks have unique methods not just for listening or streaming but for storage, sharing, whatever.

I use Spotify on my laptop, iPad and iPhone mainly. If i'm at home i'll play spotify on the TV via airplay. I occassionally use iTunes on my laptop but i've found having a huge collection is largely useless for me (i don't particularly 'care' about my collection and even if I lost it, I'd have most of it stored on an external drive or a physical copy... if something is missing from Spotify i'll look it up on itunes if i'm particularly desperate but most of my listening goes on in Spotify. I keep a playlist of stuff I like that automatically caches offline so I can listen on the train or whatever. Very occassionally I will use Pandora but I find it very unreliable with suggestions and the ads are annoying. I don't really buy new music at all, unless it's a smaller artist i've found or been shown on Bandcamp. Grooveshark gets a run out if i'm at a computer without spotify. It's a bit fiddly for my liking though. I share a lot of music via Dropbox by having shared folders with particular friends.

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The vast majority of music I buy is via Amazon MP3 or CDs from the merch stand at a gig. Very occasionally I'll buy from bandcamp or direct from the label but that's pretty rare. Don't really use spotify. If I'm deliberately trying to look for something new I tend to just scan Amazon and use the previews before taking a punt on the album or I'll listen to tracks on bandcamp/soundcloud first.

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I still have a large physical CD collection and still tend to buy them via Amazon and Ebay as they often work out cheaper than downloads. If I'm in town I will usually have a browse around OneUp and pick up a few discs from the 2nd hand section or new stuff it's reasonably priced - I have occasionally succumbed to the "just gotta have it" impulse and bought something from them that I knew I could get online cheaper.

The curious thing is I then go home and rip it all to itunes and tend to use my ipod and iphone for listening to just purely for the convenience of having a huge swathe of music (38,000+ songs) on hand wherever I am. A lot of my cds had to go into storage after our second kid arrived as we needed the space and there was no way the guitars were going in the garage! I do sometimes download from Amazon and itunes but generally only if I can't source a physical copy for a reasonable price - for example The Go Go's "Talk Show" album is selling for silly money (£50+ for a new cd!) but £6.90 on download.

I gave spotify a try and liked the idea of being able to listen to pretty much anything I fancied but the reality of a shitty internet connection out here in the sticks convinced me that it wouldn't be worthwhile taking out a premium subscription.

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Are a dickhead because I moved house once, and lugging 600 CDs was pure pain, for something I didn't use much anymore. CDs just got ripped to MP3 then shelved. I also kept going through CD decks for them to keep breaking. They just don't make them like they used to. So I scrapped both. I prefer buying a record if I really really dig it. My Project turntable makes music sound better than any CD deck I've ever had too. So I keep it digital, and special albums get bought on wax.

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How about the sense of ownership of your digital collection? Does anyone feel anything sentimentally similar to how they did/do with their massive CD collection. Personally I never did, even though I have amassed a gigantic library. Having loads of mp3s is more annoying than anything else. the folder structure and the album artwork are a total nuisance.

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Guest davetherave

MP3 is fine for the car or travel, but I still prefer buying and listening to CDs at home with a decent amp/speakers in glorious uncompressed stereo :)

700 Cds dont take up that much space with decent shelving.

Books and magazines are a different matter though, digital books win every time, the kindle is fab.

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I buy music on Itunes now a days, never CD's unless its a small band, even then ill go for a download if i can, i just dont see the point in CDs now, i was never one who needed the physical thing in front of me, art work and stuff doesnt really interest me a whole lot, plus i use an Ipod or my laptop to listen to music, never have the need for a CD. If there is a song i dont have but really want to hear i throw on youtube.

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Myself and the missus buy a lot of CD's, but like what many people do, we burn them onto an external hard drive. This is then played through our separates system. CD's live in another room and are rarely, if ever played. She has a subscription to Spotify, so we use that to find new music. If we really like something, it gets bought. We are also spending more and more money on vinyl, as we are both fans of the physical act of putting a record on. You commit yourself to listening to 20 minutes of music much more than loading up winamp, where you can skip if something initially sounds a bit guff. Plus, I really like inspecting album artwork, as it helps get you into the mind of the artist who made it. It's a part of their world, and if you like it I think that you relate to the artist a bit more.I can't say I download that much, other than live bootlegs, vinyl download codes and bandcamp. I don't buy music from itunes.

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I use Spotify on my Iphone, instead of uploading all my music to it. You can make playlists on it and synch it to your phone's hardrive. I use this for listening to new stuff/recommendations and I buy physical copies of stuff that I like or want to get into more. At home I listen to CDs and Vinyls, and occasionally Spotify. I buy from a combination of shops, distros and Amazon. There's little that beats owning a copy of an album on a vinyl, for various reasons.

My hi-fi is pretty rubbish actually, so I am investing in new stuff this year.

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These days I acquire most music as MP3s. Probably 80-90% I get from EMusic. EMusic works a bit differently to other sites in that you pay a subscription for a certain number of downloads per month. I joined several years ago and have what they call a 'grandfather' account, which gives me tracks at a ridiculously low rate. I pay around £140 in an annual fee and for that I get 90 downloads a month. Assuming I download 90 tracks a month (which I mostly do) that works out about 13p a track. Anyway, that's why I stick with it, plus it tends to have most of the stuff I want. I also download from Amazon (though not often) and very occasionally from ITunes (but usually only if I can't get it somewhere else).

I increasingly buy music in one form or another from the excellent Boomkat website, based in Manchester. I download things from there if I can't get it on EMusic. I also order vinyl from there. If I really like a record then I like to get a copy on vinyl because it's always been my favourite way to properly listen to something. I don't often buy things on CD these days - a handful a year, usually at gigs. I never really warmed to CDs, at least partly because they're fiddly to store and are not very appealing as objects. I've bought one or two albums on cassette tape recently because a few things I like have been cassette-only releases. I quite like tapes, even though they're a bit fiddly and don't always work. Vinyl is the king of formats though.

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Spotify for listening to new stuff/recommendations/stuff I can't find anywhere, and for listening to stuff from my phone if I'm out and don't have my monolithic Cowon on me. Stuff I like I usually end up getting on Vinyl if possible or CD from record shops locally. Smaller releases I tend to buy directly from labels/distros/bands via bandcamp etc.

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I do like Spotify for new stuff or if I can't be arsed getting up and putting a CD on the stereo. I mainly listen to music in those ways, I have a turntable now and brought some records back down from Aberdeen recently and I even still listen to tapes mainly old radio shows admittedly!

I still buy CD's from Amazon and also download stuff.

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I used to care a lot about my cd collection but converted to just having things digitally a few years a go and have since sold most of my cds. These days I download from various sources and put all my music on my ipod. I use this for listening most of the time either with headphones when out and about or plugged into speakers when at home. I use Youtube and Soundcloud a lot too for checking out new stuff. Like ca_gere said soundcloud is great for DJ mixes.

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I try and get all my music in cd forms from shops. I get vinyl/tape if it's special, or I like the band a lot, or if it's a vinyl/tape only release. I download only if it's the only way and there's no physical release available. I use Spotify for a lot of music I can't afford or to listen to new (to me) music. Everything I buy goes in to iTunes then on to my phone as I listen to music most when I'm out and about.

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I also use Spotify for new stuff. I know lots of people don't like it as bands don't do well from it, and I do understand that, but I've found that I probably buy more music as a result of it allowing me to discover new bands. I'm on the £4.99 a month subscription which is fine, but means I can't listen offline. This is good as it encourages me to keep buying music so that I can listen to it on my iPod when out and about. Usually I'll just have Spotify playing on my laptop and through speakers at home or since liberating my record player from Aberdeen, we'll stick records on. I realised that after buying CDs, I'd put them on my computer and then they'd just sit on a shelf doing nothing. I play records more than I play CDs, so when a new release comes out, I'll try to get it on vinyl as free download codes are a stroke of genius and I still like to have a physical copy.

I'm in Edinburgh now, but when I was in Aberdeen, I'd always go to One Up, usually just ending up at HMV if I was desperate for something that One Up didn't have. Edinburgh has a few good places left, such as Ripping Records, but it's pretty limited. I personally didn't think much of Avalanche, so tend to save money and pick things up on the occasional trip to Glasgow instead. Mmm... Mono. I'll miss One Up a lot, though, got far too many memories of going there from a young age and always go in whenever I'm home. I hate the thought of the only place selling records in Aberdeen being Asda and Tesco. Depressing.

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